Start time: 3:00 P.M. Central Time
Location: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Mississippi
TV: SEC Network
Streaming: WatchESPN.com, WatchESPN app
Betting line: Mississippi State -30.5, Over/Under: 56.0
Man, things just keep getting worse for the Troy Trojans.
The Trojans are currently 1-3, and have looked about as bad as one possibly can at times this season. First-year head coach Neal Brown is looking to "rebuild the wall", but Troy is likely about to lose their fourth game of the 2015 season.
With the Trojans going on the road to face an SEC team in the Mississippi State Bulldogs, there isn't much hope for Troy, a team that has been wildly inconsistent all year long. As a Troy fan, I'm dreading Saturday's 3 o'clock kickoff, but I'm also obligated to write something about this week's game. So with that, let's keep up the depressing charade of listing the keys to a Trojan victory.
Get Brandon Silvers help, and lots of it.
For weeks, I rambled on about Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers. The coaching staff was very conservative with the sophomore, but he looked very impressive in the limited opportunities he was given to test the opposing defense. I wanted nothing more than to see Silvers get an opportunity to dominate a game, and he was given just that last week against the South Alabama Jaguars.
He did not dominate.
In fact, he probably cost the Trojans the game. Several interceptions ended potential scoring drives, and Troy was not able to overcome the costly mistakes.
To be fair, while Silvers did look awful, he got almost no help from his wide receivers. On multiple occasions, the quarterback delivered accurate, timely passes that would have resulted in either points or first downs if not dropped by his intended target.
If Troy is going to
win keep the game respectable, Silvers needs all the help he can get, and that starts with actually catching the football.
Limit passing production.
In quarterback Dak Prescott, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have one of the best players college football has to offer, so it would make sense that the majority of their offensive production comes from the passing attack.
Prescott has not thrown for less than 200 yards in any game this season and is always a big threat when running the football.
For Troy to compete in Saturday's contest, the defensive game plan must revolve around shutting down Prescott, especially when throwing the football. Luckily for Troy, the Trojan pass defense hasn't been half bad this season. The Trojans have allowed 200 or more passing yards only once this season.
Troy desperately needs that kind of production Saturday, or they may as well not even show up.
Run the clock.
Rather than a key to victory, this is more of a key to not getting blown out.
We see teams run as much time as they can off of the clock when they are winning, but Troy needs to take the reverse approach. If the Trojans want to leave with their dignity still in one piece, running the ball and burning time off of the clock is a practical way of accomplishing that.
Mississippi State wins 38-14